Tech stocks were mostly down Thursday along with the major market indices though semiconductor chip stocks showed some strength. Intel ( INTC) added 90 cents, or 3.9%, to $23.70. An analyst at Citigroup said field checks in Japan suggest that orders for Intel's Atom chip is running ahead of expectations. Based on the field checks, Intel's "relatively aggressive" 8.8% third- quarter revenue growth guidance seems "more achievable," said analyst Glen Yeung in a research note. Intel rival AMD ( AMD) was also up 28 cents, or 5.8%, to $5.08. Micron Technology ( MU) was up 18 cents, or 3.6%, to $5.16. The company hosted an analyst day Tuesday that provided a "generally positive" update, said Oppenheimer analyst Daniel Morris in a note. He has an outperform rating and a $9 price target on the stock. VeriSign ( VRSN) plunged $5.16, or 15.2%, to $28.70 following its second-quarter results. VeriSign reported higher losses in the second quarter in part because of restructuring-related charges. It reported net loss of $68 million, or 35 cents a share, including a $92 million non-cash impairment charge and restructuring charges of $98 million. That compares with a net loss of $4.7 million, or 2 cents a share the year before. VeriSign also said the weak credit market and economy has taken a toll on the company's attempts to divest its non-core businesses. An analyst at Oppenheimer downgraded the stock to perform from outperform after the release of the results. Shares of Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI) were down 4 cents, or 2.4%, to $1.41 after it reported pre-merger second-quarter results.
The quarterly results for Sirius, which recently merged with XM Satellite Radio, exceeded the Street's expectations, but the company failed to provide a clear outlook. Sprint Nextel ( S) continued to head lower, a day after it reported its second-quarter results. Sprint swung to a loss in the second quarter and reported revenue lower by 11% to $9.06 billion, lower than analysts' estimates of $9.17 billion. Shares of Sprint were down 32 cents, or 4.4%, to $7.02.